Ex-Gay Watch fact-checks political and religious movements which seek to make gay people straight.
We provide critical analysis of the political tactics, religious rationalizations, research findings, health claims, and apparent motives of organizations which claim that sexual orientation is a choice.
Ex-Gay Watch was launched in July 2002. Then and now, evangelicals and conservative U.S. Catholics lobby to jail sexual minorities, deny them protection from politically and religiously motivated violence, and promote discrimination in housing, employment, and public services.
A subset of that movement, popularly known as “ex-gays,” seeks to profit from these campaigns, charging people with “unwanted same-sex attraction” thousands of dollars to attend regular support groups, conferences, and therapy sessions led by persons with sketchy mental-health credentials. Proclaiming themselves cured, “ex-gays” rationalize discrimination, criminalization and violence as necessary tools to coerce people to change their sexual orientation.
In 2009, the ex-gay movement aided evangelicals in launching “kill-the-gays” legislation in African nations — even as several research studies, including those recruited by the ex-gay movement itself, demonstrated that — while people may temporarily suppress sexual and romantic attraction by playing word games and mind tricks — sexual orientation does not change by choice.
In 2013, leaders of the leading U.S. ex-gay organization, Exodus, admitted that their sexual orientation had not changed — and that “99 percent” of their members had experienced little or no change in their orientation.
Exodus closed, but two new U.S. organizations took its place: Restored Hope Network, and Hope for Wholeness, each maintaining that “change is possible.” Of the two, Restored Hope Network continues to support discrimination and criminalization around the globe.
Internationally, the ex-gay movement is waning in Australia, but growing in southeast Asia, central America, the Caribbean, and much of Africa.
Contributing writers to Ex-Gay Watch have included Michael Airhart, Daniel Gonzales, Timothy Kincaid, Emily K, David Rattigan, David Roberts, and Eugene Wagner.